Monday, June 17, 2013

Miami Heat Next in Line for Public Subsidies

The poor Miami Heat, on the verge of losing the NBA Finals because they just can't spend like the big-market San Antonio Spurs, are indicating if they can't get public subsidies for renovations to their 13-year-old facility (which replaced a 12-year-old facility), they may not be able to survive in Miami much longer.

Citing mounting costs for keeping the 19,600-seat arena competitive for concerts and to provide basketball fans more amenities, Heat executives say they will need more help from Miami-Dade to sustain the arena’s current top-notch quality into the middle of the century. They warn that without the start of a new wave of upgrades, the facility faces the fate of the team’s original home at Miami Arena, which was demolished five years ago.
Miami-Dade pays the arena $6.4 million a year under a deal that runs through 2029. In exchange for building and financing the $360 million arena on county land, owner Micky Arison negotiated an agreement that includes the yearly subsidy and a profit-sharing formula that has yet to deliver any money for Miami-Dade.
Asking for a new arena these days seems just rude - ask the Rays - but public dollars for a renovation?  Field of Schemes says it's the new thing to do, because, obviously, nobody builds an arena to last more than 15 years anymore.

But let's just remember these are the same Miami Heat that fired its entire ticket sales staff when they signed The Big Three and sold out every game.  In the same City of Miami that's not turning out to Marlins games.  Looking for subsidies in the same economic climate that doomed the Dolphins' public subsidy campaign.

So just like LeBron shouldn't count his championships before they hatch, the Heat better not hold its breath for those public dollars.  Hey, if Jeff Vinik can do it in Tampa, I'm sure the Heat can figure it out.


  1. Jeff Vinik knew he was going to make most of his money back quickly from the RNC with help of their $20 investment...

    1. I don't think you get it - the RNC rented out the Forum, made alterations, then returned the venue to how it was before.

      The Lightning vacated the venue for a month, making no profit other than a rent payment, which had nothing to do with Vinik's improvements, which had nothing to do with the RNC.


    3. I'm not saying he wouldn't of made the renovations anyways, but you don't really think Jeff didn't make or lost money lending the Forum to the Repubs, do you? Plus, isn't rent "making money"? Though he did "donate" to Mitt's campgain, so I guess it was a circle of life of millions...

  2. I expect this same thing will happen in Tampa with the Bucs in a few years. When everyone is talking about the Rays stadium plans the Bucs will be looking for money to upgrade. Franchise owners are seeing what happened in Cleveland, Minny, and now Miami. Basketball & baseball teams are getting stadiums paid for, and then there isn't enough left over when the football team comes knocking. Better start knocking early.